Retaining its old colonial atmosphere Cuenca is one of the most attractive cities in Ecuador, with the historic centre containing churches dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. West from Cuenca is the Cajas National Park, full of glacial lakes set amongst breathtaking scenery at 10,000 feet, an excellent area for walking and bird watching.
A couple of hours north of Cuenca are the impressive ruins of Ingapirca (meaning 'Inca stone wall'), Ecuador’s most important Inca site with the empire’s only remaining sun temple set high on a hill overlooking the surrounding valley.
Our preferred accommodation
Hotel Santa LucíaInn/Posada - CuencaA charming, restored 1859 colonial house with many antiques in the upstairs salon. There is a separate breakfast cafe and bar at the front of the hotel with a pretty central courtyard for supper. One block from the main square.
Posada IngapircaInn/Posada - IngapircaA converted farmhouse, a few hundred yards from Ecuador’s finest Inca ruins at Ingapirca.